Radio Muhabura

Radio Muhabura

Radio Muhabura was a pro-Tutsi propaganda radio station of Paul Kagame's RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) during the period of his invasion of Rwanda from Uganda between 1990 and 1994. It was created in 1991 and broadcasted from Uganda. It was the first alternative to Radio Rwanda, reaching all but the south of Rwanda by mid-1992. It was recorded by the BBC starting in 1992. It promoted armed resistance to the "extremist" Rwandan government. In an October 1992 broadcast it claimed that militia forces of the government's party had "devised traps aimed at exterminating the youth." [cite web|url=http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/rwanda-broadcasting-genocide.pdf|title=Broadcasting Genocide: Censorship, Propaganda and State-Sponsored Violence in Rwanda, 1990–1994.|date=1996|publisher=Article 19, London, UK] As early as January 1993, months before the RTLM went on-air, Radio Muhabura accused the Rwandan government of genocide. [cite web|url=http://ds.datastarweb.com/ds/products/datastar/sheets/bswb.htm|title=Radio Muhabura 0030, 30 Jan 1993|date=1993-01-30|publisher=BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 2 Feb 1993] It routinely denied RPF involvement in civilian killings. [cite web|url=http://ds.datastarweb.com/ds/products/datastar/sheets/bswb.htm|title=Radio Muhabura 1715, 11 Feb 1993|date=1993-02-11|publisher=BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 13 Feb 1993] , and promoted resistance to "Hutu power", to the Habriyamana government, and desertion by the military. [cite web|url=http://www.rwandainitiative.ca/symposium/transcript/panel1/questions.html|title=Hate Media in Rwanda > Question Period|accessdate=2007-06-05|date=2004-03-13|publisher=Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication)]

It regularly discussed return of the Rwandan diaspora and the creation of a new government. [cite web|url=http://www.idrc.org/en/ev-108188-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html|title=Echoes of violence: considerations on radio and genocide in Rwanda|accessdate=2007-06-05|date=2004-03|publisher=Journal of Genocide Research 6 (1))]

Although the pro-Hutu RTLM (which became an inciting instrument of the Rwanda genocide of 1994) was extensively listened to, Radio Muhabura had a much smaller audience, proabably because it broadcast in English instead of Kinyarwandan, and its contribution to the Rwandan civil war is not as widely discussed. [cite web|url=http://www.rwandainitiative.ca/symposium/transcript/panel1/questions.html|title=Hate Media in Rwanda > Question Period|accessdate=2007-06-05|date=2004-03-13|publisher=Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication)]

The existence of Radio Muhabura was cited as a part of the defense in the trial of Ferdinand Nahimana in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

References


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